All Fall Down
Max McLean, Book #2
By James Brabazon
Author Website: jamesbrabazon(.)com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Caro
Soldier, assassin, and special agent–Max McLean works for a highly secretive unit called The Unknown: a black ops team which delivers off-the-books justice on behalf of the British Government.
When a straightforward operation to kill a terrorist commander goes badly wrong, Max finds himself framed for murder. Cut off from his base and cut loose by his Government handlers, he’s forced to go even deeper underground, propelled across Europe on a personal, high-stakes investigation to clear his name.
Racing against time to find out who his enemy is before his enemy finds him, Max has to unravel the only clue he has to their identity: an unusual hundred-dollar bill clutched in the dead terrorist’s fist.
But in this brutal game of spies nothing is as it seems: as hostile powers prepare to move against the West, Max McLean must face the shocking possibility that the traitor he seeks has been with him all along. (Goodreads)
The Break Line was such a thrilling book taking me by surprise several times with scenes that gave me goosebumps, to which I still think of, but it was more exciting was how it wrapped up and all the secrets that were revealed at the end. The book on it’s own worked as a stand alone, the reason why I didn’t expect a sequel, but boy was I wrong. All Fall Down is the perfect sequel in the Max McLean series.
This time Max finds himself framed for several deaths and is on the run with the only clue that can help him, a hundred dollar bill. He is wounded during his initial mission, barely surviving with the help of an old friend, but when they’re attacked during the night, and the house he was staying set on fire, Max is knocked unconscious. He later finds himself hung upside down in a container on a ship with a Russian crew. As he frees himself, he suffers more injuries and ends up under the care of a local hospital in Kent, where he later escapes from.
“In my jacket pocket: one hundred milliliters of legal pepper spray and a Pozidriv screwdriver with a six-inch shank. Knives were illegal to carry, and if I got stopped and searched I needed to be as clean as possible. A screwdriver would be easier to explain away than a blade, and would stab and throw just as well.”
While on the run, once again, he makes his way to France where he manages to obtain a Greek passport with the help of an old acquaintance. Before their meeting is over, Max is ambushed by several people trying to get a hold of the hundred dollar bill he has. While trying to evade everyone following him, Max goes into the tunnels under the city where he meets an Indian student exploring the tunnels, Bhavneet “Baaz” Singh. From this point on Max and Baaz become a team working together to get to the bottom of the hundred dollar bill mystery.
Max seems to be finding himself wrapped up in missions related to his past that only he can solve. It almost makes the reader wonder if the agency is using him for this sole purpose. He goes to Israel in search of his childhood friend, Rachel, in hopes of explaining his current situation to her, but once he is moments from seeing her for the first time in years, he is notified she has been missing for days. The chapter where he learns more about her and what she has been doing, while exploring the slumps of Israel, is one of my favorites in the book.
Baaz was such an interesting character. There is so much information the reader learns from him throughout the book. His chemistry with Max made them look like a seasoned team, even though Max sometimes would do things that went against Baaz’s beliefs. Max being a special agent never really knew if to trust him or not, but it was sad to see them go their separate ways. They could have been a good team. Will we see Baaz in future books? *wink*
The Russia chapters were filled with such good action scenes, it felt like watching a movie. Seeing Max once more end up in a place that has meaning to him really makes me think there’s more than what we’re getting. But, those final moments with Rachel were more heartbreaking than some of his encounters in The Break Line. This book was more of a spiritual walk for Max than a mission.
Everything that happened in this book I did not expect it to happen. There so much I can’t fully talk about because of spoilers. All Fall Down can be a stand alone book on it’s own, so definitely read it, and if you want more, I also recommend The Break Line.
Lonely Soul by U.N.K.L.E (For France chapters, street chase)
Friction by Imagine Dragons (For Russia chapters, car chase)